- The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) announced it is expanding its DASH bus service. It also opened a $42 million bus maintenance facility downtown that it says will support adding more electric buses to the fleet in the near future.
Celebrating the opening of a brand new sustainable bus facility in DTLA. This new location will facilitate the planned increase in electric buses for our bus fleet in the near future. ???????????? #MovingLAForward #LADOT #Transit pic.twitter.com/PellFO3P1P— LADOT (@LADOTofficial) April 11, 2019
- DASH is adding and expanding weekend service, and its buses will now run until 9 p.m. on weekdays instead of just through rush hour. LADOT also launched two new commuter express services connecting riders to downtown.
- The service expansion is one of the projects to come out of Moving Forward Together, LADOT Transit's study to provide recommendations for service improvements and to address unmet transit needs.
Most of the city buses in Los Angeles are operated by Metro, which also operates the rail network. DASH bus service is for shorter trips within a neighborhood or to connect to other forms of regional transit; it is available downtown and in 27 Los Angeles neighborhoods. More DASH expansions are expected for the coming years, namely electric bus additions.
In addition to the DASH expansion, another notable transit system improvement born from Moving Forward Together is LAnow, the on-demand, shared-ride transportation pilot launched last month. The app-based shuttle service provides rides for users traveling in the same direction in four Westside communities.
DASH isn't the only bus network to undergo changes. Metro announced last year that it would restructure its citywide bus network for the first time since the early 1990s through the NextGen Bus project. Metro reportedly was looking for ways to reverse a 25% drop in ridership over a five-year period. That's a problem considering the bus network carries more than 70% of the city's total transit customers.
The bus system improvements come at a time when Los Angeles' leaders are turning a lot of attention to improving transit and easing traffic congestion. The city launched its "Twenty-eight by '28" transportation plan that consists of 28 projects slated to be completed before Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. It also has been working to modernize its oldest rail line and launched work on an app for mobile transit payments.